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Sha Zukang, undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, erupted at a retreat for top U.N. officials last week when he told Mr. Ban: “I know you never liked me, Mr. Secretary-General. Well, I never liked you, either.”


NATO: Airstrikes kill 14 insurgents

KABUL | A series of NATO airstrikes killed 14 insurgents in central Afghanistan after a joint patrol with Afghan soldiers came under fire, the Western military alliance said Monday.

The clash happened Sunday while the patrol was crossing a river in Uruzgan province, a center of the Taliban insurgency, NATO said in a statement.

NATO troops requested air support after receiving small-arms fire and concluding there was no danger of civilian casualties, it said.

Initial reports indicated no civilian casualties occurred, and members of the joint patrol were unhurt in the attack, NATO said.


Iranian diplomat to seek asylum

HELSINKI | An Iranian diplomat who quit his job at his country’s embassy in Finland said Monday he will apply for political asylum there.

Hossein Alizadeh said he stepped down as the embassy’s No. 2 because of the Iranian government’s crackdown on citizens protesting the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year.

“I cannot accept, tolerate this fraud election. The situation got worse because … my people are being killed still,” Mr. Alizadeh told reporters in Helsinki.

He is the second Iranian diplomat in Europe known to have quit to protest the Iranian government’s clampdown on dissent.


Christians attacked on way to prayers

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